REVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga — Directed by David Dobkin.

David Dobkin’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is an American straight-to-Netflix comedy about a fictional band’s journey to the Eurovision Song Contest, an international song competition that celebrates pop music. It is, essentially, the European Championship of pop music. In the song contest, each country has a representative who must belt out an original popular song and attempt to win the grand prize of a microphone-shaped glass trophy, as well as the right to have their country host the song contest the following year. Continue reading “REVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)”

REVIEW: Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Da 5 Bloods — A Spike Lee Joint.

Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods is a war film about the lasting effects of the Vietnam War on four African-American war veterans — Eddie (played by Norm Lewis), Otis (played by Clarke Peters), Melvin (played by Isiah Whitlock, Jr.), and Paul (played by Delroy Lindo) — collectively known as the ‘Bloods.’ Now, decades after the war has ended, the Bloods have returned to Vietnam to retrieve what they left behind in the jungle. They claim to only be back to retrieve the body of their squad leader, Stormin’ Norman (played by Chadwick Boseman), but they also want to find the precious gold bars that they had to leave behind when they were young men. Continue reading “REVIEW: Da 5 Bloods (2020)”

REVIEW: The Lovebirds (2020)

Original Theatrical Release Poster – Paramount Pictures

The following is a review of The Lovebirds — Directed by Michael Showalter.

The Coronavirus Pandemic has had a serious impact on the film industry. The future of the movie theater industry is uncertain as some films that were meant for a theatrical release have been released on video-on-demand or streaming services, while many of the year’s biggest films have been removed from the 2020 theatrical release schedule entirely. This Michael Showalter romantic-comedy, The Lovebirds, was originally meant to be released in theaters by Paramount Pictures in April, but when theaters around the world closed their doors, the film studio sold its rights to Netflix, who finally released the film on the 22nd of May. The Lovebirds fits right in on Netflix, but, quality-wise, it is a significant step down from The Big Sick, Showalter’s previous film as a director. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Lovebirds (2020)”

REVIEW: The Wrong Missy (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of The Wrong Missy — Directed by Tyler Spindel.

As far as I am aware, Tyler Spindel’s The Wrong Missy is the eighth film that Netflix has distributed for Happy Madison Productions, the production company founded by Adam Sandler. Most of these films feature Adam Sandler in the lead role, and, often, the films take place in sunny locations. This has led to these films jokingly being referred to as ‘vacations’ that Sandler takes his friends and family on to relax between takes. I don’t know if there is any truth to that common joke, but, come to think of it, The Wrong Missy, which, notably, doesn’t feature Adam Sandler, actually does take place in sunny Hawaii.  In any case, this film, unfortunately, isn’t the return to form for Happy Madison that I wanted it to be. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Wrong Missy (2020)”

REVIEW: The Half of It (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of The Half of It — Directed by Alice Wu.

Netflix has, in a way, become the home of the teenage coming-of-age romantic-comedy genre. Since they achieved great success with Susan Johnson’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Netflix has been eager to return to that same subgenre and treat their worldwide audience to stories about young Americans finding themselves, discovering their own identities, and expressing their true feelings. Netflix has successfully cornered that market as of late, and their latest teenage romantic-comedy success story comes from filmmaker Alice Wu, whose second feature has finally come out for all to see fifteen years after her directorial debut was originally released. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Half of It (2020)”

REVIEW: Extraction (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Extraction — Directed by Sam Hargrave.

The straight-to-Netflix action thriller Extraction is based on the comic book Ciudad, which was written by Ande Parks (comic book writer), and the Russo brothers (the directors of Avengers: Endgame, one of whom also wrote Extraction). Extraction was even directed by a Marvel movie veteran. This is the directorial debut of Sam Hargrave, who has experience as a stunt double and stunt coordinator on multiple Marvel movies. Unlike Disney-Marvel movies, however, Extraction is filled to the brim with excessive violence. Hargrave’s debut, though not narratively challenging, is a thrilling exercise in hectic action set pieces. It’s not exactly John Wick-quality, but it is one of the best Netflix original action films to have been released thus far. Continue reading “REVIEW: Extraction (2020)”

REVIEW: Sergio (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Sergio — Directed by Greg Barker.

Greg Barker’s Sergio is a biographical drama about Sérgio Vieira de Mello’s career as a United Nations diplomat and peace activist. The seasoned Brazilian humanitarian lost his life in a terrorist attack in Baghdad in 2003, and this film takes us back to his final moments. The straight-to-Netflix true story is based on both the 2009 documentary of the same name, which was also directed by Greg Barker, and Samantha Powers’ biography Sergio: One Man’s Fight to Save the World. Since Barker directed an award-winning documentary about the aforementioned diplomat, it is not exactly a surprise to see that he has now made a narrative feature film about the same non-fictional subject-matter. What is, however, quite interesting is that Greg Barker has made a film where a love story is at the heart of it. Continue reading “REVIEW: Sergio (2020)”

What To Watch During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Part II – Special Features #68

A couple of weeks ago, I presented my readers with a list of films or shows to binge-watch during your self-isolation due to the current coronavirus pandemic. I decided to focus on shows that I had not previously reviewed, or had no intention of reviewing. Since the pandemic has not come to an end, I thought it would be a good idea to recommend some extra options. So, today, I present you with another small handful of binge-watching options, none of which I have previously reviewed on this site. Continue reading “What To Watch During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Part II – Special Features #68”

REVIEW: Coffee & Kareem (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a short review of Coffee & Kareem — Directed by Michael Dowse.

Michael Dowse’s Coffee & Kareem is an action-comedy buddy film about police officer James Coffee (played by Ed Helms) and his attempt to connect with and establish a rapport with his girlfriend’s son, Kareem (played by Terrence Little Gardenhigh), who both doesn’t trust law enforcement and is protective of his mother (played by Taraji P. Henson). While driving Kareem home from school, both Kareem and officer Coffee become involved in dangerous criminal activity and encounter dirty cops. Continue reading “REVIEW: Coffee & Kareem (2020)”

REVIEW: Tigertail (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Tigertail — Directed by Alan Yang.

While most Netflix subscribers are watching and discussing the immensely popular docuseries Tiger King, an ambitious film of a similar title has been released on the streaming service. Netflix’s Tigertail is the directorial feature film debut of Alan Yang, an Emmy-winning writer who has previously produced, written, and directed shows such as Parks and Recreation, The Good Place, and Netflix’s Master of None. This 90-minute Asian-American feature film is loosely inspired by Yang’s own family history and, in particular, his father’s story. Continue reading “REVIEW: Tigertail (2020)”